Britney’s family have done it again… will she ever really be free?
Britney’s family have done it again… will she ever really be free?

Sarah Finnan

Supper Club: Ed Smith’s Borough Market spiced butterflied mackerel
Supper Club: Ed Smith’s Borough Market spiced butterflied mackerel

Meg Walker

16 great prints and posters to add some life to your walls
16 great prints and posters to add some life to your walls

Megan Burns

Social Pictures: InterContinental Dublin Horse Show Ladies Day
Social Pictures: InterContinental Dublin Horse Show Ladies Day

Sarah Gill

Lunchtime Fashion Fix: Casual work outfits to elevate your current office attire
Lunchtime Fashion Fix: Casual work outfits to elevate your current office attire

Sarah Finnan

You won’t mind leaving your dishes on the counter with these surprisingly chic dish drainers
You won’t mind leaving your dishes on the counter with these surprisingly chic dish drainers

Lauren Heskin

Sick of the clutter? How to detox your wardrobe (and not regret it)
Sick of the clutter? How to detox your wardrobe (and not regret it)

Louise Slyth

If I knew then what I know now: Evelyn Moynihan, CEO of Kilkenny Group, on risk-taking
If I knew then what I know now: Evelyn Moynihan, CEO of Kilkenny Group, on...

Fiona Alston

August 09: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
August 09: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds

Sarah Finnan

Getting hitched with your kids in tow – madness or magic?
Getting hitched with your kids in tow – madness or magic?

Jessie Collins

Image / Editorial

Sexual harassment issues in work have “surged” by almost 200 per cent


By Jennifer McShane
09th Dec 2018
Sexual harassment issues in work have “surged” by almost 200 per cent

According to a report in the Sunday Independent, sexual harassment issues in the workplace have grown significantly over the past number of years.

Irish law firm Mason Hayes & Curran, said their lawyers are dealing with an increase in cases, up by almost 200 per cent since the #Timesup movement swept across the globe.

“As a team, we have certainly seen an increase in the number of employment-related sexual harassment issues over the course of the past number of years.”

In line with the current laws, sexual harassment is defined subjectively and sexual harassment constitutes as discrimination by the victim’s employer about their conditions of employment. Sexual harassment can take many forms such as actions, gestures, spoken or written words, e-mails, text messages and social media posts. Sexual harassment can exist of a single once-off incident.

“That increase is probably in the region of 200pc and the number of actual cases, for us, has probably increased by about 25-30pc since the beginning of #MeToo movement.”

There’s no doubting that this is depressing. All that tells us is that a year after #MeToo, nothing is really changing in terms of impact with assault cases are on the rise.

What can employers do to help combat this?

Melanie Crowley, a partner at Mason Hayes & Curran, advised that employers had to have clear policies in place and to communicate “what constitutes harassment and, in particular, sexual harassment. Policies are no good if they are not communicated, so educating employees is important.”

“Employers should also have procedures in place for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment,” she continued, adding that US companies handle the situations particularly well. “If caught and managed early, it should be possible to resolve most issues internally without recourse to litigation.”

There is a statutory obligation on employers to put in place adequate safeguards against inappropriate conduct in the workplace, but as Alicia Compton, a partner at William Fry stressed that good quality HR policies and training delivered in clear terms of explaining acceptable and unacceptable behaviour were vital: “Certainly the days of hoping that a sexual harassment allegation will somehow go away, or resolve itself without employer intervention, are gone.”

A new national survey on the prevalence of sexual abuse and violence in Ireland is currently underway and will examine sexual harassment in the workplace. It is only the second study on the topic to be conducted in Ireland, some 16 years after the first was released.